The 1950s were the last big hey-day for wallpaper usage. People still papered all four walls and complementary wallpapers were popular. This included a bolder pattern on one wall with a coordinating paper on the three adjoining walls. Another popular option was to paper two adjoining rooms with complementary papers. The fifties was also the last period in which wallpapers were designed for use in certain rooms. Today, wallpaper designs are much more universal and multi-use.

This design with its groupings of rooster, hen and baby chicks would have been appropriate for a kitchen. This designation was usually determined by subject matter, though wallcoverings deemed more scrubbable or waterproof, such as vinyl or Sanitas, were selected for their durability and were popular in kitchens and baths. So of course, designs with food themes would be used in kitchens, water themes in the bathroom, sports-related in the boy’s room, etc. It seems rather odd to think of this pattern as food related, as each of the groupings clearly represents a family unit of fowl. But if you notice, the background is covered with a pattern of metallic gold polka dots which represents chicken feed. So perhaps the food theme is more about the birds eating, and not so much about them being consumed. An interesting paradox.

Several key factors came together at this time creating the perfect environment for this wallpaper boom. The great urban growth following the war, the lifting of the moratorium on new designs during the war, and the first commercial production of screen printed wallpapers.

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